CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS

It's the 1st of December and time to start Christmas Shopping (or at least start to think about it). If you are stuck for ideas or even better if someone has asked you to suggest some things that you might like for Christmas give them the link to this blog post and send them to Marks & Spencer. 

My first suggestion is the classic Christmas gift Pyjamas. Until owning these pyjamas I have tended to sleep in an old t-shirt and pyjama bottoms however these have changed my PJ attitude - they are SO comfortable, super soft and cosy and the only thing I will be sleeping in from now on. 

Another classic gift are slippers - something that you'd rarely buy for yourself but when you do own a cosy pair will make you happy every time you put them on.

Pure Cotton Star Print Revere Collar Pyjamas £29.50 / Cork Mule Slippers £17.50

I love this jacket - so cosy and cool and good to note that although white fake fur jackets aren't always the most practical of colours/styles this one is washable. This dress is great too and would look equally good with summer sandals for a sunshine wedding in the summer time. 

Faux Fur Jacket £65 / Jacquard Print Lined Fit & Flare Dress £49.50

Statement earrings are in at the moment and these are great - because they are black they will go with everything and despite being on the large side are super light and comfortable.

 Diamanté Resin Circular Earrings £15

This is such a beautiful bomber that feels and looks really luxurious. It can be dressed up and down and worn for loads of different occasions - it would make a lady very happy at Christmas.

Embroidered Bird Bomber Jacket £65

This handbag is cool and is a great size - perfect for both work and play. Gloves are always good, especially as it is so cold - these are super cosy, great quality and very warm.  

Faux Leather Chunky Chain Shoulder Bag £35 / Leather Gloves £59

This post is kindly sponsored by Marks & Spencer. I genuinely would give and receive all of these gifts.

BRAND: ALICE MADE THIS

Alice Made This is a British jewellry and Men's accessories brand. Husband and wife team Alice and Ed founded the brand after spotting a gap in the market for beautiful, timeless, simple men's accessories and the brand grew from there. All the pieces are made in British factories using industrial processes that refine raw materials into precise, contemporary accessories. 

I am honored to be part of Alice Made This - The Women's Edit collaboration, where alongside five very inspiring and entrepreneurial women I have chosen my own, unique combination of Alice Made This pendants to create The DLAM Edit.  

I loved creating this necklace and have never worn a piece of jewellry that I have wanted to touch so much before - the pieces are so tactile.

My Edit has 3 components which can be worn all together, on their own, or in any double combination. This is such a great necklace - so simple but at the same time confident and perfect to go with literally everything.  

Alice and I went to Art College together and were re-united by chance in our local pub with our babies (realising we were now neighbours) so I believe this collaboration was fate!

Here is some more information on this brilliant brand and how it all came about:

NAME OF BRAND/COMPANY: Alice Made This

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: 2012

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Alice Walsh 

WHY WAS IT CREATED: When Alice and Ed were searching (and struggling to find) cufflinks for their wedding, they realised that there was a need to develop something fresh in the men's accessories space. Alice's experience is in product development, having worked for the likes of Tom Dixon, Conran and Habitat, travelling the world exploring manufacturing techniques and processes, and she always wanted to own her own business. This was the ideal opportunity. All our collections are made in Britain, using a different British factory and industrial process, and we refine raw materials into precise, timeless accessories. 

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: We work with eight different British factories for our collections, ranging from aeroplane part manufacturers and marine rope workers, to military armouries and a silversmith in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter. All of products are made in Britain by experts in their fields.

With a genuine respect and passion for British factories, Alice has managed to develop strong and creative working relationships with all of our makers to deliver clean and honest collections.

We introduced our first Women's collection earlier this year, including a range of geometric necklaces, and have launched The Women's Edits in the run up to Christmas to celebrate this. The variety of graphic pendants and material finishes has meant that our customers can wear them by day or by night, and find a piece that really compliments their style and personality. This is something we will be continuing to grow in 2017!

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: All sorts for the men in your lives... a perfect Xmas winner ;)

Also if you Christmas shop like me you can do "one for me, one for you" approach and treat yourself to a cheeky necklace! 

 @alicemadethis / Photography by @JKF_MAN 

SEQUIN DRESSES

It is sequin season which for me is all year around but for the shops it's now. There are so many good sequin dresses around at the moment and a lot of them are pink or red and long sleeved - making them flattering, wearable and fun.  

Here are my top four:

V by Very £55 / & Other Stories £79 / Dolce & Gabbana £3150 / ASOS £85  

JAEGER

I have always had massive respect and admiration for Jaeger as a brand - it exudes quality and heritage and as a company that has been around since 1884 when so many have come and gone, it must be doing something right.

Jaeger have recently opened a new store in London Marylebone and they invited me down to have a look. I didn't know what to expect but the first things that struck me was how colourful, contemporary and modern it was. 

The products are undoubtedly beautiful and chic, designed to perfection and of a quality that if looked after correctly will last a lifetime. 

I was immediately attracted to this bright red coat - it is super bright and so well cut, a real statement coat suitable for so many occasions. It is currently only available in the Marylebone store but will be online in a couple of weeks - I will add the link when it is.

The other thing I love are these perfect leather trousers, they are definitely an investment but I feel that price per wear would be low because they are so perfect! 

I wore them with this simple black jumper with sequins on it - it's like a subtle Christmas jumper that can be worn all year around, dressed up or down and is just a bit more interesting that a plain black one.

This leopard print cross body bag is another wardrobe staple, the perfect size and you can also tuck the strap in and wear it as a clutch too.

My late Grandmother wore Jaeger and she was a very stylish woman.  My mother and her are the reason I love clothes so much so being able to wear a brand that has featured in my family for generations really appeals to me and feels good. 

Jaeger clothes are the the type that have the ability to transform plain outfits into stylish ones and I intend to own more of them!

This post was kindly sponsored by Jaeger. My love and respect for them is genuine.

WHAT TO WEAR FOR THE RACES (IN WINTER)

At the end of November my husband and I are going to the 60th Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury Racecourse. I'm not sure what to expect but I know there will be horses, eating and drinking and as with these kind of events part of the fun of it is the outfit.

The dress code is smart, hats are encouraged and a warm coat essential. As always I will be opting for comfortable shoes or boots as there may be a fair amount of standing.

I like the idea of a skirt, top and faux fur coat - but at the same time keeping them modern and on trend.  Instead of a hat I was thinking it could be cool to wear an embellished hair band.

My outfits tend to be fairly spontaneous but here are some of my ideas so far:

& Other Stories Faux leather skirt £65 / Disco Blouse £65 / TOPSHOP headband £16.50 / Helen Moore £238

Boutique skirt £75 / TOPSHOP lace top £42 / Office boots £90 / Alexander Mcqueen £1745

These outfit would be a fairly similar to one you might wear to a smart Winter wedding.

If you would like to dress up and come to the races you can! To WIN: a pair of tickets, a night in The Lodge hotel at the racecourse, a bottle of Hennessy and a Hennessy picnic for two click on the link below.

SEVEN BOOT LANE

I have posted about Seven Boot Lane before - they are UK based family brand who make their shoes in a Spain. I am a massive fan of Seven Boot Lane - I've found their shoes to be great quality, long lasting and comfortable.

Their designs are not over the top but have subtle, interesting details that make them more interesting than the average shoe. Plus because they are a smaller brand the chances are you won't see everyone else wearing the same ones.

They have got some great new styles in at the moment. I love my metallic ankle boots - they go with everything and have become my go to Winter boot.

Bayarma Metallic Leather £150

I also love these leopard slip on print trainers - I have the grey version of these from last year and i've worn them so much, these would go with everything from winter to summer.  

I am always on the look out for a decent pair of winter boots that can be worn when it gets really cold and in the snow - however I always end up looking for these too late and they've all sold out. We are hoping to go skiing this year and i'll be taking these to wear for aprés.

PARTY TIME

I love this time of year, there are always so many excuses to wear party (sparkly) clothes and to dress up. However with invitations comes the question 'what am I going to wear?' Here are a few easy, comfortable outfit ideas that are perfect for loads of occasions this party season:

This bronze sequin skirt is amazing and super sparkly so I kept the top simple and the boots cool. Instead of a coat I wore a cosy leopard print jumper and carried (a go with everything) metallic clutch.

Sequin Skirt £49.50 / Leopard Print Slash Neck Jumper £35 / Envelope Clutch £17.50 / T-Shirt £22.50

With all of my outfits comfort is key - the last thing you want to be at a party is uncomfortable as it might restrict you from having fun and that is what parties are for.

A simple pair of flats are important and very useful - these black patent ones (they also come in gold and tan snake print) are great and go with everything. I dance tested them the other night and passed with dancing colours.

There are a lot of pleated skirts around at the moment, this leopard print one is super cool. I've styled it with a simple black top, chunky chain necklace and biker jacket. It would also look cool with a bright red jumper and boots.

 

Pointed Toe Ballerina Pump £29.50 / Animal Print Pleated Skirt £35

This is a perfect work to party outfit. Leather skirts are a great winter staple - worn with a chunky knit by day then dressed up with a shirt or top for the evening.

Ruffle Front High Neck Blouse £29.50  / Leather Pencil Skirt £149

Photography by @janelookerphotography 

This post is kindly sponsored by Marks & Spencer. I genuinely would wear and love all of these outfits! 

THE MUM COAT

Every year at around this time a whole load of women (many of whom are mums on maternity leave) start searching for their 'Mum Coat'.

The Mum Coat you think might be easy to find but there is certain criteria that it needs to fulfil to qualify as an option:

  • It must be waterproof - if you are pushing a pram it is not an option to hold an umbrella
  • It needs to have a cosy hood
  • Ideally it will cover the tops of your legs and bum, so these areas don't get wet in the rain or cold in the snow
  • It has to be practical - good pockets, wipeable/washable
  • You have to love it (because you will spend a lot of time wearing it)

If you are pregnant this winter another option could be to look for a cape or go for your usual sized mum coat and invest in a big cosy scarf to keep the bump warm.

Asos £40 / The Tartan Blanket Co. £35

My chosen Mum Coat 2016 is this one from Burton Snowboards, it ticks all the above boxes, its cool and I love it.

Burton Snowboards £220

Here are a few other options that i've spotted:

Hush £170 / TOPSHOP £95 / Jigsaw £198 / Jaeger £200

AUTUMN OUTFITS

Every time the seasons change I feel a strong urge to go shopping and there always seems to be so many things I need (want) all of a sudden. However I have learnt that successful Autumn shopping/dressing is about adding a few key pieces to your wardrobe, that will see you through to Winter, that can be dressed up and down and that can complement what you already have.

Here are a few never fail Autumn outfit ideas, shopping tips and some pieces that will make perfect additions to your wardrobe: 

A statement coat: One thing I am always drawn to every season is animal print. I love it - animal print (in my opinion) is a neutral meaning it goes with everything, can be worn to anything and always looks fun and cool.  A leopard print coat is so much more fun than a black one and you'll be surprised how versatile it is.  Marks & Spencer have a few different style leopard print coats in at the moment to suit every shape, size and personality.

A new pair of jeans always makes a good addition to your wardrobe and can often bring back to life tops that you haven't worn for ages.  These are great - high enough around the waist to hide the 'mum tum', slightly cropped and work with ankle boots, flats, heels and trainers.

 

Collared Neck Overcoat with Wool £69 / Frayed Hem Slim Leg Jeans £35

A jumper dress: I love this dress, so comfortable, can be worn over jeans, leather trousers, with boots and tights or trainers. It would also look cool with a biker jacket on top or with a big colourful scarf.  If you are pregnant this could be a good dress to invest in (go for a size up). 

A statement bag can be the making of an outfit - this heart shaped bag is amazing and perfect for Christmas parties, events and weddings.

You'll never regret investing in a pair of practical boots these are a perfect mix of a biker and chelsea boot and will look cool with tights, jeans and dresses. 

Jacquard Long Sleeve Printed Dress £35 / Heart Clutch Bag £29.50

Leather (or faux) leather trousers are one of my Autumn/Winter staples, I wear them a lot, to everything with everything. For smarter occasions I usually wear them with a longer shirt and coat, then dress them down with a T-shirt, denim jacket and trainers.

Striped shirts are having their moment and this is a great one - it is super super simple, flattering, soft and a perfect cut with it's long cuffs. 

This cardigan is leopard print and sparkly - I don't think it needs explaining, it's a winner and would possibly become the most useful thing you own.

Photography by @janelookerphotography 

This post is kindly sponsored by Marks & Spencers. All thoughts, clothes choices, ideas and purchases are my own.

IVY PARK

IVY PARK, the eponymous activewear label co-founded by Beyoncé is back for a second season and it's as cool as she is. There are loads of new styles including parkas, leotards, jumpsuits and puffa jackets as well as the basics including sweatshirts, leggings, bra tops and tshirts.

Personally I tend to go for bold, bright patterned leggings with a simpler, plain coloured top when dressing for exercise. I LOVE my pink camo leggings (which also come in blue and grey) and this simple - but very cool (like Beyoncé) grey sweatshirt.

Camo Mesh Panel Legging £55 / Sweatshirt £45

If you have followed my blog for a while you will know that I am big advocate for loving your exercise clothes - I believe that the right clothes can motivate you to get them on, get out there and get fit. I also believe that being comfortable and feeling good in the clothes that you wear is very important - which is why I like IVY PARK so much - there are styles to suit everyone and the message is positive.

Logo Crew Neck Tee £16 / Backpack £45

The latest IVY PARK collection has every kind of fitness covered - running, dancing, gym-ing, jumping... They have also introduced some cool accessories including bags, socks, head band and hats. And even if you don't actually want to get fit you can just hang out in the clothes (there is a very comfortable looking jumpsuit) and pretend you are Beyoncé - which is something I like doing.

This post is kindly sponsored by TOPSHOP & Affiliate Window. All thoughts, clothes choices and ideas are my own.

VOLVO

I recently had the pleasure (and believe me it was pleasurable) of driving a Volvo (specifically a XC90 D5 PowerPulse AWD R-Design) to Festival Number 6 - which is an amazing festival in Portmeirion, North Wales that Volvo sponsor.

If you think about what the exact opposite of this car is, that is what I currently drive so as soon as I sat in this car I was not only in love but in slight disbelief that driving can actually be so comfortable.

This car does so much, it has features that I didn't even know existed in a car but every single one made our journey and drive more pleasurable. I am a big appreciator of design, and the research and innovation that companies invest in to developing into products and details that make them the best they can be and this is something Volvo clearly does.

However you most probably haven't come to this blog to read about cars, (although you may well drive one and be considering getting a new car at some point),  I am going to briefly tell you why I think the New Volvo XC90 is so good:  

  • It looks amazing and is super stylish - each detail has been designed to make driving simpler, more enjoyable, and less stressful.
  • It drives like a smooth dream (and if you press a button pretty much drives by itself)
  • It has 7 seats
  • It has intuitive technology so everything links together (and is potentially smarter than you are).
  • It is one the the safest cars on the road
  • It is very, very comfortable
  • It is fuel efficient (the Hybrid version)
  • It is designed in Scandinavia - and is made from the finest materials—like soft leather, and grainy wood. 
  • You can connect it to the apps in your IPhone
  • It is perfect for families  

The only bad thing about this car was that we had to give it back.

ALL THE SHOES YOU NEED

It is like it happened over night - Autumn is here. Gone are the days of flip flops and sandals it's time to put the toes away and start thinking about the Summer - Winter transition and layering up. 

I actually really like it when the seasons and temperature changes and I enjoy the challenges and variation of dressing for all weathers. Plus I think we need different seasons to help us appreciate what we have, when we have it.

When it comes to Autumnal footwear I believe in having some key shoes and boots in your wardrobe that when you put them with different outfits they have the ability to update and change your whole look. If your shoe wardrobe contains at least (and not exclusively) one of the following types of footwear you should have every occasion covered:

  • Boots
  • Trainers
  • Loafers / Brogues
  • Party shoes

Marks & Spencer have some great options (from all the above categories) in at the moment. Their shoe and boot collection has been well considered and they have ensured that every (shoe)box has been ticked.  Also being M&S you can guarantee comfort and durability as well as style. Here are my top picks:

I LOVE these red suede pointed flats and know I will get a lot of wear out of them. I can imagine wearing them to Christmas parties and will be styling them with everything from skinny leather trousers, to cropped jeans and jumpsuits.

These shoes are super comfortable and are even endorsed by the UK College of Podiatrists due to Insolia Flex® which makes walking in flats more comfortable by insuring your foot is correctly placed within your shoes and improves the natural rotational movement of the ball of the foot -so clever! And also because they are a wider fit, I don't have particularly wide feet but by being slightly wider it means they do not squash your toes like some pointed ones do. 

Stain Away™ Wide Fit Suede Pumps with Insolia Flex® £39.50 / Pinafore Sleeveless Jumpsuit £39.50

I love all things leopard print and believe it to be a neutral so wear it with everything. I have been after a pair of leopard print trainers for ages so when I spotted these I was very happy! I like wearing darker coloured trainers in winter because it hides the dirt and because I think they look better with black tights than white ones.  

I will be styling these with everything from pleated skirts, to dungarees and then when Spring comes back with bare legs and shorts.

Leopard Leather Lace Up Trainers £49.50 / Tunic Shift Dress £69

A decent pair of simple, flat, black ankle boots are an Autumn essential. They are the boot that you are likely to wear the most because they can pretty much be worn with everything and to everywhere. 

These have a low heel and tassels (I love a tassel) and also have the same comfortable, supportive Insolia Flex® sole as the red shoes above. M&S also have a great selection of Chelsea and block heeled boots too. 

Suede Tassel Ankle Boots with Insolia Flex® £65 / Pure Cotton Denim Ruffle Dress £39.50 (Shirt also from M&S but currently only available instore)

I have a thing for metallic shoes and own a lot, they have the power to update and transform so many outfits from average to cool! They go with everything from florals, denim, leather and prints of every colour. If you are ever confused about what colour to buy a shoe in - go metallic.

Loafers and brogues are a Winter staple of mine, I guess they are the equivalent to a Summer sandal and are great for work, parties and playgrounds. Plus they are durable, comfortable and cool.

M&S COLLECTION New Point Loafer with Insolia Flex® £29.50

This post is kindly sponsored by Marks & Spencers. All thoughts, clothes choices, ideas and purchases are my own!

Photography by: @janelookerphotography

INTERSEASON SHOPPING

I love the Summertime but I also love the changing seasons. I think it's good to have a change and makes you appreciate what you have when you have it. I also love being able to dress for different weathers - I like the cosyness of coats and the carefree coolness of a summer dress and look forward to both at the end of the season before. 

The end of the Summer before Autumn (September - October time in the UK - interseason) can be all sorts of seasons, weather and temperature in one day. So when I shop around this time I look for versatile clothes that can be worn in all weathers, all year around.

Mono Animal Ruffle Long Sleeve Blouse £34 / MOTO Side Stripe Skirt £30 / Two-in-One Reversible Bomber Jacket £79

TOPSHOP have some great inter-season pieces in at the moment, I recently purchased an amazing reversible bomber jacket - it's like having 2 jackets in one and really does go with everything including your mood! I am also pretty excited about this black and white ruffle shirt, which I intend to wear with jeans and under dungarees, but would also wear it with a smart skirt or bright coloured trousers to meetings.

We are also fast approaching boot season - I love a statement shoe and rarely play it safe when it comes to the colour of my footwear. If you have followed me for a while you'll know that I love a bright, leopard print or metallic (neutral) shoe and the same goes for boots.  I am really looking forward to styling these red ones, but also have my eye on TOPSHOP's  gold and pinks ones.

A denim skirt is also a wise purchase for September, wear it now with bare legs, trainers or sandals then as the colder weather sets in with tights, boots or loafers.

I also recently purchased this leopard print clutch. The good thing about a leopard print clutch is that it will go with everything and can be worn to anything.  I got mine to go with a blue playsuit I recently wore to a wedding but have since worn it with so many different outfits and know I will for years to come. 

So if you are interseason shopping look out for versatile things that can be worn in all weathers, that can be dressed up and down and as always that make you happy!

This post is kindly sponsored by TOPSHOP & Affiliate Window. All thoughts, clothes choices, ideas and purchases are my own!

BRAND: HOUSE OF SPRING

There is currently a rise in independent shoe brands which is really exciting to see. At last there is an alternative to the mainstream that is more accessible than the luxury market but that easily rivals them both in quality and style.

House of Spring's shoes are beautiful - I spotted them a while ago and was struck by the high quality craftsmanship and classic but contemporary designs. They are a brand that is perfectly positioned between luxury and high street and are built to last.

House of Spring designs are inspired by the creativity of London and the chic elegance of Paris - which you can see in every shoe. They are hand made in Portugal using the finest materials and craftsmanship.

Here is some more information about how and why the brand came about:  

NAME OF BRAND/COMPANY: House of Spring

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: April 2015

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: The French designer Radhia

WHY WAS IT CREATED: After finishing her studies, Radhia started to feel the desire to create her own business. Chic and elegant shoes, to make every woman feel beautiful, was her idea. Strong was the influence of her mum, a seasoned shoe hunter.

In 2010, while getting some experience in fashion buying, she met someone special in London. Here, she identified a niche in the market, between the high street and luxury brands, where positioning the product. The vibrant creativity of London, together with the French chic style, gave birth to House of Spring shoe collection.

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: Designed in London and handmade in Portugal, House of Spring shoe collection is made using the finest materials and craftsmanship. House of Spring philosophy is to create fashionable and contemporary shoes that represent an affordable luxury. Brilliantly mixing the effortless elegance of Parisians together with London's bold fashion sense, they want to make you feel an elegant, confident - a daring woman.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: Check it out House of Spring permanent collection, the Iconics. Their Timeless shapes want to recall the vibrant energy of Notting Hill streets to follow you in every occasion. From an afternoon tea with friends to a romantic dinner out, the best skins they are made of, together with their quirky details, will give you an elegant twist.

@house_of_spring

DRESS LIKE A MUM AT FESTIVAL

My family and I and some excellent friends have just got back from Camp Bestival - we had such an amazing time it was so much fun, the kids loved it and we loved it and we can't wait to do it again.

One of the things I have always loved about festivals is the fashion. For me it is a place to wear whatever I feel like - no holding back!!!

Sequins are perfect for festivals, in the day time they look amazing when the sun reflects off them and at night they shine in disco lights. You'll always have a good time wearing sequins!

Rosa Bloom leggings now £65

Glitter and sunglasses are a couple of my festival staples - both of which are fun to wear and are perfect for hiding tired looking eyes. I also make sure I take a sunhat that can fit into my bag both for shading your face from the sun and having a nap under.

There is a lot of glitter around this festival season with most festivals offering places that you can pay to have your face glittered. Personally I like to do my own, it's really easy and fun to do - here is how.

For Camp Bestival I had a mixture of pearl coloured and blue glitter. I also applied this amazing iridescent eye shadow which changed colour depending on which angle you looked at it from. Don't forget to take a mirror!

Bevelled Round Sunglasses £20 / Glitter £7.50 / Mono Eyeshadow in Holograph £7 / Roll Up Straw Visor now £7

When you are at a festival you want to have free hands (for dancing, drinking, waving etc.) therefore you need to take a bag that allows this. This year because we took the kids I carried a backpack with all their stuff in and a cross body bag for mine - wallet, sunglasses, lipstick, glitter etc.

Patchwork Crossbody Bag £65 / Metallic Pocket Backpack £29

I travelled to the festival in this denim dress, tshirt and sandals, then put on a pair of tights, jumper and a bomber jacket for the evening. I like the versatility of this dress - you could wear anything from a swimming costume to a roll neck underneath and it would look good. 

Plait Strap Denim Pini £39 

I wore this super fun jumpsuit for the final day, it is so comfortable and perfect for sitting on the floor, playing with the kids and hoola hooping in. I would also wear this to work or dress it up for a wedding.

Slouchy Colour Block Detailed Jumpsuit £42

It gets cold in the evenings and sometimes rains at UK festivals so I always make sure i have a couple of jackets and layers to put on for when it does. It is also a good idea to take a warm scarf.

Holographic Festival Rain Mac £49 / Borg Western Jacket £59

This post is in collaboration with, and kindly sponsored by TopShop via Affiliate Window. All thoughts, ideas, clothes choices, festival tips and views are my own.

MY ULTIMATE HOLIDAY OUTFIT

One of the many many things I love about going on holiday is planning my outfits! Unlike the UK most places in Southern Europe can guarantee hot, sunny weather so you know what to dress for.

I am not known for packing light, mainly because what I wear everyday is so dependant on what mood i'm in, plus I like be prepared - plans might change - you might get invited to a crazy party for example. So to ensure I have every mood and situation covered I like to take a few spare outfits just in case.

However if i was pushed into planning my ultimate (no expense spared) Spanish holiday outfit this is what it would consist of:

PRISM £95 + £135

Since having children there are parts of my body I need a bikini to help me with - my mum-tum and mum-boobs. This bikini is the perfect style - a high waisted brief that holds the tummy in and an underwired, slightly padded top in a (go with everything) black and white leopard print. 

ANCIENT GREEK SANDALS £140 / Le Specs £40

I have a thing for metallic shoes especially in the summer, mainly because I believe a metallic is a neutral so they go with everything, plus these ones have wings too!! I also have a thing for mirrored sunglasses and these ones are very very cool.

ANYA HINDMARSH £425 / MATTHEW WILLIAMSON £550

This silk dress is stunning, it would be perfect for cocktails by the pool, dinner, dancing, promenading, a beach party, a boat party as well as a summer wedding - it's beautiful plus turquoise looks great on holiday with a tan. 

Being a lover of having my photo taken wearing nice clothes by a wall especially while on holiday (see @dresslikeamum Instagram) I would obviously need a beautiful background to photograph my outfit against.  This Villa in Ibiza would be ideal - beautiful views, stunning swimming pool and so many photographic walls (look at the curved one) :-)'

 

Clickstay the company that rent villas, chalets and apartments around the world are currently running a competition to WIN a £500 villa voucher and a Samsonite Suitcase from their Lite Shock range. For details on how to enter can be found here.

This post was created as an entry to Clickstay's #StyleYourWayToSpain Fashion Bloggers Competition. All thoughts, jokes, outfit and Villa choices are entirely my own.

BRAND TAYLOR WREN

Taylor Wren focus on beautiful, well made, socially concious clothes for women who prefer to buy classic, long lasting pieces.

Taylor Wren is a new brand founded by a husband and wife team who create timeless clothes and acessories for modern women. Taylor Wren's premier collection is beautifully refined, perfectly curated and focuses on quality not quantity.

I love this Liberty print skirt and top - it fits so perfectly and can be worn together or separately, for example the top with jeans or the skirt with a t-shirt. Because this is a skirt and top it would be a perfect breastfeeding outfit too (you would wear a vest under the top, the top top would lift up and the vest would pull down). I plan to wear this to a friend of mine's wedding in a couple of weeks, but would also wear it to work or a party.

Taylor Wren is the type of brand that you would never regret buying from, the pieces are so well made, classic and versatile that they would last a lifetime and surpass trends. Plus because most of the pieces are limited editions you are unlikely to meet anyone else wearing the same thing.

Here is some more information about this modern, classic brand:

NAME OF BRAND/COMPANY: Taylor Wren

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: March 2016

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Fran Taylor Wren and Simon Wren- newly wed husband and wife duo!

WHY WAS IT CREATED: To provide beautiful, thoughtful, well made and socially conscious clothing for the modern woman. Something that could be worn and loved season after season.

We were growing increasingly disillusioned with the 'fast fashion' concept of buying and wearing clothes, not to mention the increasing environmental impact of this type of buying. For the woman who is not dictated to by trend and can afford to spend a little more, it makes sense to invest in key pieces to create an individual and lasting look.

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: We are London brand with a passion for creating socially conscious clothing that not only looks great but feels great to wear season after season. Made for the modern woman, Taylor Wren provides the ultimate balance between perfectly polished and stylishly undone to create a capsule wardrobe that works anytime, anywhere.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: You should be buying everything from us of course- our debut collection is a capsule collection of 12 key distinctive and refined pieces that can be mixed and matched with each other but also with everything else in your wardrobe allowing you to both create and emphasis your own personal style.

In particular we think you should be buying the gorgeous Liberty printed pieces, inspired by the vibrant flora of an English meadow, resplendent in the spring sunshine, this bold painterly floral gives classic shapes a modern twist. Each piece made here in London and with only 30 of each available you're safe in the knowledge that you own a truly unique piece.

taylorwren.com / @taylorwrenltd

LOVED & FOUND AT JOHN LEWIS

John Lewis's loved&found section is a collection of fashion, beauty products, accessories and lifestyle brands  curated around a theme and title. Collections include Dressing Up BoxBalearic Beach Club and World Beach.

loved&found is a great way to discover new products and brands that you might not have thought to shop. When a website is as large as John Lewis's it can be hard to know where to begin, so a good place is an already curated edit of interesting brands.

I have found so many things in loved&found that I like. 

Star Mela £110 / Soludus £59

I  love a summer smock dress - so comfortable, flattering, practical, can be worn if you are pregnant and will last a lifetime of summers. I also love shoes with pineapples on, neither of which i would have thought to shop for at John Lewis. My bag is by Star Mela who I have been a fan of for ages, this is a perfect all round summer bag for work, beach, nappies etc.

Star Mela £70

From the Dress Up Box collection I love this black and white spotted dress, I might wear it for wedding I have coming up and it would become a really useful dress to have in your wardrobe - It could be worn with any colour, with or without a jacket, with bright coloured shoes/ sandals flat or heeled, it could also be worn casually or to work, you could wear a t-shirt underneath it or a jumper over it.

Another thing that caught my eye was this silver jacket, the good thing about metallic coloured things is that they go with everything (metallic is a neutral in my world) and can be worn anywhere. I would wear this dressed down with jeans or dressed up to a smart event or party.

Baum und Pferdgarten Adia Strap Dress £289 / Darling London Dulcie Coat £109

Another couple of brands i have discovered via loved&found are contemporary, fair trade jewellry brand Mirabelle and Scandi inspired British brand Waven (pronounced ‘who-vuhn’).

 Mirabelle Palm Tree Pendant Chain Necklace £57 / Waven Caaren Loose Jumpsuit £70

I love leopard print everything and I can see that this leopard print jumper is probably going to become one of my staples, (as well as metallics) I believe a leopard print to be a neutral too.

COMPANY: BEG BORROW BUY

Beg Borrow Buy is a new clothes rental service that basically allows you to borrow/rent a super cool dress to wear for an event and then return it afterwards.

They have a range of high street and designer dresses to choose from, in a range of sizes for a variety of occasions. Once you have selected your dress you can rent it for 4 days or 8 days, you wear it and then return it in the prepaid envelope, they then have it cleaned ready for the next person to rent it.

I borrowed a stunning Kooples dress that i've had my eye on for a while (but couldn't afford to buy) and a super cool black and white striped dress - both of which would be perfect for weddings, parties, events, meetings etc. I was sorry to see them go back, but its fine as I can just borrow them again.

This is a really great service and idea - you get to wear an amazing dress at a fraction of the price without having to invest in something you many only wear a couple of times. 

Beg Borrow Buy was founded by Natalie, who after seeing dresses she'd invested in and not worn for a while gathering dust decided there must be another way... Here is what she wants us to know about her company:

NAME OF COMPANY: Beg Borrow Buy

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: June 2016

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Natalie Getreu

WHY WAS IT CREATED: I found myself constantly being torn between wanting to buy beautiful and unique pieces for the events and special occasions I had coming up and trying to be economically responsible - especially living in London! More often than not I couldn’t resist the urge and the pieces I invested in, whilst I loved, were only worn once or twice and then just ended up sitting in my wardrobe, occasionally borrowed by a friend but otherwise just gathering dust. Which is how the idea of Beg Borrow Buy was born. I thought it would be great to have a virtual closet where I could wear new and special pieces for every event and party for a fraction of the price. Plus given our items are delivered straight to our customers door, and there is no dry cleaning involved, it really is an easy option for everyone!

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: Beg Borrow Buy is not just tailored to the luxury and designer market. Rather our distinctive collection is a mix of vintage, designer, and contemporary high street labels from around the world. This makes our brand not only unique but an affordable and stylish option for all budgets.

WHAT WE SHOULD BORROW FROM YOU: You can’t go wrong with black, and our back to black debut collection features a number of black dresses in a variety of styles and sizes so there is something for everyone.

Photography by: Jane Looker Photography / @janelookerphotography

BRAND: RACHEL JACKSON

Rachel Jackson Jewelry is the kind that you can't go wrong with - literally everything in the collection is stunning and designed to perfection. Her pieces are the perfect combination of cool, contemporary and classic that will last you a lifetime.

Rachel Jackson's pieces are designed to be layered up, stacked and customised. The letter rings can be worn one on each finger to spell something or stacked on one for more impact, the earrings can be mixed and matched and the loquets personalised with birthstones and different colours.

If you want to buy someone a gift or you want someone to buy you a gift or you just want some solid, reliable, never let you down jewelry that goes with everything then they this is a good place to start (and end).

I am a massive fan of this brand and have my eye on so many of their pieces - since i got the hexagonal hoops last week i've worn them everyday.

This is definitely a brand to watch.

Here is what the founder Rachel would like us to know about her brand.

NAME OF BRAND: RACHEL JACKSON LONDON

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: 2016, but as a company we have 10 years experience and numerous awards to boot with previous label Cinderela B.

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Rachel Jackson, mother of one super cheeky two year old.

WHY WAS IT CREATED: A friend of mine died in a plane crash and this was an epiphany. I realised life is short and should pursue your dreams Previously I had a 10-year career in the corporate world but I knew it wasn’t my calling in life

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: We believe life is short and you should live it to the max. Our customers are smart, stylish and fun. Our jewellery is feel-good, personalised and seriously addictive.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: 1/ Our art deco initial necklaces and stacking rings as they’re fun and meaningful (you can wear as many initials as you like) 2/ For a chic look our ‘Serenity’ hexagon collection (the necklace looks wicked layered) 3/ Our ‘Mixed Birthstone Amulet’ as it’s a truly unique and personal design (it can contain all you family member’s birthstones)

DISCOUNT CODE: 'DLAM' for 20% off until the 31st of July

Photography by: Jane Looker Photography / @janelookerphotography